Strawberry Shortcake three ways. One very old. One very modern. And one very dear to my heart.
From The Lady’s Receipt-Book: a Useful Companion for Large or Small Families, published by Eliza Leslie in 1847
Sift a small quart of flour into a pan, and cut up among it half a pound of the best fresh butter; or mix in a pint of butter if it is soft enough to measure in that manner. Rub with your hands the butter into the flour, till the whole is crumbled fine.
Beat three eggs very light; and mix with them three table-spoonfuls of powdered loaf-sugar. Wet the flour and butter with the beaten egg and sugar, so as to form a dough. If you find it is too stiff, add a very little cold water. Knead the dough till it quits your hands, and leaves them clean.
Spread some flour on your paste-board and roll the dough out into a rather thick sheet. Cut it into round cakes with the edge of a tumbler, or something similar; dipping the edge frequently into flour to prevent its sticking.
Butter some large square iron pans or baking sheets. Lay the cakes in, not too close to each other. Set them in a brisk oven, and bake them light brown.
Have ready a sufficient quantity of ripe strawberries, mashed and made very sweet with powdered white sugar. Reserve some of your finest strawberries whole.
When the cakes are cool, split them, place them on flat dishes, and cover the bottom piece of each with mashed strawberry, put on thickly. Then lay on the top pieces, pressing them down.
Have ready some icing, and spread it thickly over the top and down the sides of each cake, so as to enclose both the upper and lower pieces. Before the icing has quite dried, ornament the top of every cake with the whole strawberries. A large one in the centre, and the smaller ones placed round in a close circle.
These are delicious and beautiful cakes if properly made. The strawberries, not being cooked, will retain their natural flavour. Instead of strawberries you may use raspberries. The large white or buff-coloured raspberry is the finest, if to be eaten uncooked.
Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake
Adapted from a recipe by Sarah Shilhavy
1 lb fresh strawberries, chopped into chunks
1/4 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
1-3 tablespoons sugar or honey
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons salted butter
3/4 cup milk or heavy cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 400°.
Chop the strawberries and set aside.
Mix all the dry ingredients together, and then cut in butter. Stir in the milk and egg.
Dust a table with tapioca starch and turn the dough out. Knead several times and pat into desired thickness (they will not rise too much). Using a biscuit cutter, cut biscuits and place them on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake 12-15 minutes until the bottoms are lightly browned. Slice biscuits in half and top with strawberries and whipped cream. Serves 8-12
Very Dear to My Heart:
Grandma’s Strawberry Shortcake (Cottage Pudding)
From Grace Horning
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
½ cup milk
2/3 tsp vanilla
Heat oven to 375°.
Cream shortening and sugar together. Add eggs and beat thoroughly. Sift dry ingredients together, and add with milk and vanilla to bowl. Stir only enough to blend.
Pour into greased 8x8 pan. Bake for 25 mins. 8 servings.
Serve with: berries, fruit, chocolate, or orange sauce.
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